Important step by AFG towards goal of technological leader in construction materials

AFG sells Forster Precision Steel Tubes to Mubea – New AFG strengthens core business – Mubea precision steel tube competence centre in Arbon

Arbon, 27 June 2013 – AFG Arbonia-Forster-Holding AG is selling the business unit Forster Precision Steel Tubes to the automobile part supplier Mubea. The German family-operated company intends to retain Arbon as production site, and develop it into an international competence centre for precision steel tubes. For AFG the sale is an important step towards sharpening its focus on its core business, centred on “cladding and interiors”. This clears the path for further implementation of the growth strategy for the business unit Forster Profile Systems, which is an integral part of AFG’s core business.

With the sale of the business unit Forster Precision Steel Tubes, which manufactures products for the automotive, machinery and furniture industries, steel production in Arbon will be given a secure future. The new owner, Mubea, is an automotive industry partner, supplying it with heavy-duty spring components and other related products. Mubea will continue to manufacture the high quality precision steel tubes for existing customers, but in future products will also be manufactured in Arbon for Mubea’s own use. The Arbon site is being developed as competence centre for precision steel tubes. Associated with this are investments of more than CHF 15 million in the further processing of the tubes as well as in the production of “Tailor Rolled Tubes”.

The jobs of the 189 employees will be retained by the new owner and will continue without any changes. Mubea will continue to operate in the long term in the production halls of Forster Profile Systems. The transaction is to be completed by the end of July 2013, after all legally stipulated information and consultation procedures have been wrapped up.

According to AFG CEO Daniel Frutig, the sale to Mubea is the best possible solution for the business unit Forster Precision Steel Tubes, which is not part of AFG’s core business. Mubea would guarantee that the workplace in Arbon be retained or developed, and the new competence centre would have the best pro-spects within the internationally oriented group. “At the same time we have moved an important step closer to concentrating on our core business and to the transformation into a leading construction materials group, with a focus on cladding and interiors.”

Until now the business units Forster Profile Systems and Forster Precision Steel Tubes have belonged to AFG’s Steel Technology division. The full operative separation of the two business units was completed in anticipation already in spring 2012. Forster Profile Systems is part of AFG's core business. It will continue to be developed as independent business unit, with its own production facilities in Arbon. The sale of Precision Steel Tubes clears the way for Forster Profile Systems to implement a growth strategy, and the associated stronger focus on internationalisation.

With its unique profile systems made of steel and stainless steel, Forster Profile Systems has existing solutions for doors, windows and facades, which not only provide heat insulation, but are also smoke, fire and burglary proof. Now, by aligning the range of products with the three megatrends of energy efficiency, safety & security and well-being, the business unit can fully concentrate on growth in new markets.

The parties to the contract have agreed to secrecy concerning the purchase price. It is anticipated that a slight profit will result from the sales transaction.

Daniel Frutig

Stefan Kern
Head Corporate Communications